Wednesday, 30 December 2015

21st Birthday Present for Andy - A Drascombe Lugger

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Garry from Australia, who required some information for a Drascombe Lugger, after hearing of this lovely story, I asked Garry for a write up after the birthday celebrations.

"S.V.II Bob's Worth"
On December the 14th 2015, we gave our son Andy, a Drascombe Lugger 19ft, for his coming of age and turning 21.
The Drascombe come from a good mate Peter Matheson, who purchased her new and imported her from the UK, where she was made at Honnor Marine, Totnes, Devon.
Peter enjoyed sailing her around Moreton Bay and Hervey Bay in South East Queensland.
Peter had known Andrew since he was born and was pleased to strike a deal which would allow the boat to stay within friends and family.
The plan to gift the vessel was put in motion.
Peter took Andrew out for a few sails to show him the ropes, tips and tricks. A quick sail from Wellington Point on a glorious reach too Peel Island sealed the deal.
Andy has been involved in sailing all his whole life with the family yacht a 40" sloop, "SV Antipodes II", competitive dinghy sailing with Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, and his secondary school sailing club.

We decided to gift the vessel to Andrew for his 21st Birthday, and rename her in the traditional manner.
As is the custom to begin calling of Poseidon to amend his “Ledger of the Sea”, with generous toasts to the boat, previous owner, Poseidon, Greek god of the sea, Aeolus Greek god of wind, and the new owner Andrew.
The challenge was on for a name, Andrew eventually came up with the name for her II (2)Bobs Worth, Aussie slang for Having your say i.e.. Putting your 2 bobs worth in. Also Andrews dog  is called Bob, a real character, and he has a tag that Andrew and Rian used in the design of the name. A pirate dog...Arrrrrr.

 The Boats name
 Bob the Dog

We also required information on her so we could arrange insurance and information on how to maintain and sail her. I fortunately managed to make contact with Sharon Harwood of Churchouse Boats , the Drascombe agents and builder, in the UK
In 2011 we had a major flood in Brisbane and Peter’s house went under water and he lost all his belongings to the water, amongst this was all information relating to the Drascombe. Sharon upon hearing of my plans came to our rescue with information on the build and all the info I needed for insurance and registration.  Sharon also put together a wonderful birthday present to Andrew of a Drascombe polo shirt, a beautiful gold pin, a Drascombe manual,  Drascombe UK magazine, a very good read!
Plans were made for a function to be held on Sunday the 13th December 2015 at RQYS, we were also allocated a berth directly in front of the boardwalk where we were holding the ceremony and function.
Work began on re-oiling here timbers, varnish, replacing lines, making her look smart and knew as it was her day as well. A gold coin, struck in the same year she was built was placed in front of her mast; this custom is for luck and to show her that her new owner will look after her.
The day came, the morning was bleak, wet isolated showers filled the morning. The forecast was to clear, so we arrived at RQYS, unsure how the day would play out, around midday the grey scud disappeared and replaced with blue skies, the Gods are smiling!
As our guests arrived they were greeted with food and drinks, we had kept the name a secret as custom requires.
With the ringing of the Bell we began, friends and family charged their glasses and made their way to the marina arm where she was moored with her name covered.
We started the ceremony by Ringing of the Bells and  calling Poseidon and Aeolus and to a toast to the previous owner and to the boat. Proceeding on we asked Poseidon to remove the old name from the  “Ledger of the Sea”, a ingot / metal tag bearing the old name was tossed into the sea off the bow.
Next we call Poseidon to add the new name ‘SV II Bobs Worth” to his ledger and with this a half a bottle of Champagne was poured from west to east , over the bow, the remaining half bottle was toasted to the ship by the new Master, Andrew, and his Mate.
Poseidon and Aelous are called next for the for the blessing of the winds to assure you of fair winds and smooth seas. Each wind is called by name, Great Boreas, ruler of the North Wind, Great Zephyrus, ruler of the West Wind, Great Eurus, ruler of the East Wind, Great Notus, ruler of the South Wind, with the calling of the each wind a glass of champagne is tossed in the air in the direction of the wind.
After the ceremony is through I thanked everyone for coming and formally handed over the vessel to Andrew and unveiled the name. Drinks and food continued well into the evening.
A good time was had by all!
The next day Andrew and his mate Rian set Sail for a 4 day adventure in Moreton Bay a trip to Saint Helena island, where they sailed back to manly then we travelled to Cleveland where they sailed to Peel Island where they spent 3 days sailing, diving , fishing and having a good time.

Andy wearing his Drascombe Polo Shirt from us at CBL

Our thanks to everyone who made this a special day; you can watch the naming ceremony on utube at
Churchouse Boats are very proud to have been part of helping Andy celebrate his 21st Birthday, along with a printed Lugger manual, polo shirt, pin badge, we are also paying for a years membership to the DA for Andy.
We wish Andy all the very best in the future, and hope he has many happy years sailing in his Drascombe Lugger.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Scottish boat delivery and AGM

A couple of months ago, Simon took on the lovely task of towing a new Lugger trailer to Kincardine to meet its new owner, while there, he drove onto Elie to collect a Lugger for refurbishment. We then had the task of finding time to take the Lugger back once the work was completed.

Having met Bob Heasman at London Boat Show earlier in the year, I mentioned that if we had the chance to, we would love to make the AGM.

So here comes my brainwave, let's deliver the boat back to Elie, and stay on for a few days. Easy, I emailed Bob with the good news, to then have an email back from a Dabber owner, asking if we could price to take his boat back to our yard, along with pricing for some work to be done on her. Well I guess it does make the trip more worthwhile.

So Friday 13th and we leave home at 4.30am, arriving at the yard and hitching the trailer up, all ready to leave at 5.05am (I can see this is going to a very long trip).
It was very dark when we left
Once we were on the road, I wondered how Simon could drive that distance without falling asleep, as I know I was nodding off many times. We had a couple of stops, and then finally we finally crossed the boarder into Scotland.

Finally in Scotland

Once over the border, the views we saw were lovely, until it started to sleet, followed by snow, the temperature gauge went from 8 degrees to zero during our journey, looking over to the fast lane, it was clear of traffic, only the snow was laying on the ground, something I haven't seen for a few years.

We finally arrived at the farmers farm about 4.00pm, only to be caught in a horrendous rain storm, we moved the trailer and the boat into the barn, and went to over her up, it was then that I saw there was another Drascombe Lugger in the barn, knowing that I collect HIN numbers, I went to the stern to have a look, and I couldn't believe it, the one I saw was McN 065 and the one we had just brought back was McN 066, what are the chances for that?

The Lugger finally back home

We left the farm and headed to Broughty Ferry, which was where we were staying for the two nights. I have to say, I picked a nice place to stay.
Saturday was a day to have a look around Dundee, so we got a taxi into town and had a leisurely walk around, It is just like being back home, but we did find that it had far more independent little shops, which is really good to see. We especially liked JA Braithwaite Ltd, which has been selling tea and coffee since 1868, I think we have a long way to go to be trading that long.
The amazing large church, which looked bigger than Winchester Cathedral caught my eye, along with the five penguin figures on the wall outside it.
A snack lunch was taken in Tickety Boos, a lovely little pub, with very friendly staff, and the best hot chocolate I have had in a long time.
Soon it was back to the B&B, change and head off to the Royal Tay Yacht Club, this was where the Scottish AGM was being held. The AGM was a small gathering of about 20 local members, John Stanage the Chair of the DA was there from Ireland, and it would appear that we travelled the furthest. It was lovely to be made so welcome by the members and owners of these lovely boats, the first time you go somewhere new it is always with anticipation, however we had no need to worry.

Niall Wardrop chaired the meeting, and dates and locations were set for the following years rallies. It was mentioned about having the Scottish Drascombe Association present at the Scottish Boat Show in 2016, and this is where I spoke of the possibility of Churchouse Boats having a stand at the show, we have heard only good things of this boat show, so we shall be looking into this with the help of Niall, Graham and Bob.
I also took the opportunity of reminding the members that in 2017, it is the 50th anniversary of Drascombes, and again would they look at which one of their rallies they would like to have as a 50th anniversary event. This was agreed, and again we will work with them to get non members along to the events too.
After the AGM, we went into the dining room for supper, the food was splendid, and even the chef come out for us to say Thank You too.

Chatting after a lovely meal
We retired to the bar afterwards, for more drinks and lots of talking. Soon, it was time to leave as we were heading back in the morning. It certainly was a good idea to make the effort to travel 500 miles to attend the Scottish AGM, it was nice to put faces to names, and meet new people, along with building bridges.
Sunday morning we head to Bob and Margaret Heasman's to collect Nokomis from their place, as this is the one we are bringing back for some work. Again a horrible wet day, but is should be quicker as it is all down hill!!
Ready to go back home

We said our goodbyes, and head off with some home made flapjacks (and very nice they were too), this was another very long and slow journey, no snow this time, but idiots who drive with no lights on are quite annoying. Again, I think I nodded off on many occasions, but it was nice to start seeing the familiar road signs knowing we were getting closer to home.
Again, we arrived home about 12 hours after we left Scotland, If I say I am going to Scotland again towing a boat, will someone please remind me of the long drive it can be. Credit to Simon for all of the driving.
What did I enjoy, well I have never been to Scotland before, and it may have been such a short trip, but the people we met and talked too really made it for me.
But overall, the highlight was on our way home I had an email from Bob, and he had attached one of his drawings for me, that really meant a lot to me, and I shall be framing it for my office wall, Thank you Bob, you are a true gent.
Thank you Bob, this is brilliant.
Well, that is nearly it for this year, after the Chichester Super on the 27th November, I will do an update of my year, and what I have planned for next year.
Bye for now xxxx


Monday, 9 November 2015

Drascombe Dabber Refurbishment

A few weeks ago we were contacted by a Drascombe owner, who said that she had a Drascombe Dabber, and was wondering what the cost to refurbish her would be, as she was very keen to get her on the water and learn to sail in her.
After a few exchanges of emails and telephone calls, Simon and I, along with Lauren and Kyle went to visit the owner, and give our opinion on suggested work and costing's.
Upon our arrival, we loved the setting of where the little Dabber was situated, just on the Thames with lots of places to take the boat too up and down river.

As you can see, a broken mainmast is just one of the items which will be replaced.
Simon and Martin have been and collected her, and she will be coming into the workshop this week for us to start.
We will take photos and update through the refurb, as it will be lovey to see her once she is finished.
Also, it will give us a chance to show off what Martin and Simon can do with an old boat, to make them look appealing again.
 The Dabber is nearly ready to be delivered back

After a few weeks with us, the dabber is now nearly ready to be taken back to its owner.

When Simon and Martin bought the boat back to the yard, the first job was to give her a good clean all over, as she had been sat in the water for a very long time.

After a wash

Once she was cleaned up, Simon noticed that she was suffering from Osmosis, this is caused by the boat sitting for a very long time in the water, and not being taken out and cleaned. Sadly this meant that the work was going to be not as easy as first thought.

Osmosis on the bottom of the Dabber

Once we spoke the owner, our advice was to sand back the gel coat on the underwater part, and treat her with some specialist paint. The owner agreed to the work, so Martin was back working on the Dabber again.

It was lovely every time I went into the workshop, as I could see a difference in the boats appearance, you get a sense of achievement with the work carried out by Martin and Simon.

After several layers of paint

With the Dabber it is easier to work on, as it can be turned over in the workshop, rather than having to lie on the ground working.

New Keel plank added

We replaced the keel plank as the previous one had just rotted away. With the new antifoul being applied, the bottom of the boat looks like new now.

What a transformation, all what is left to apply now is the name, sadly the end of the day arrived, so Martin will apply the names just before she goes to her owner this week.

Just so you have an idea of the work carried out, this is the complete list of works.

  • Supply and fit new mast
  • Remove old mast thwart, fit and supply new mast thwart
  • Rub down and treat all hull joinery
  • Deep clean the hull and joinery
  • Supply and fit new tiller extension
  • New set of ropes
  • Small gel coat repair
  • One belaying pin
  • Service Bilge pump
  • New names
  • New mast band
  • New rigging
  • Sand back gel coat and treat with specialist paint
  • Supply and fit new keel plank
In early spring, we shall go up and rig her for the owner as well as launch her. Photos will be taken and put on here as a finish to this project.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Southampton Boat Show 2015

Friday 11th September and the start of Southampton Boat Show, so it was down to business for some of us. Simon was at Goodwood Revival for the long weekend and I was at the show, luckily I had Dick Pizey on hand to help me for two days, as he enjoyed helping me at London, he agreed to come along and see how the two shows differ.

We had a good first day, with a few orders for accessories taken.

Saturday 12th

The sun was shining, and many people were coming through the gates. Sam Llewellyn come over to say "hello" to us. It is always lovely to hear stories from past and present Drascombe owners.

The delightful Brad visited the show today, along with several thousands of other visitors.

In the evening, Dick and I met with Chris and Fiona Jeckells for an early celebratory 1st anniversary meal at TGI Fridays, even before leaving I had a swift G&T, followed by a lovely cocktail with my meal, and some wine later, now for those who know me, I am not a drinker, however after starting to learn to sail, things soon changed. The evening was fun filled and lots of laughing, even a few tears with laughing from yours truly, looks like there will be a repeat next year.

The naughty step
Dick on a Lugger

 Oh we did have some fun when we went to TGI Fridays with some friends

Sunday 13th

Dick headed home to earn some brownie points, while Stewart was at the show before me to put the sails up, and get the stand ready, yes, I had a slight headache, but still had a smile on my face.

Hannah and. Matt, along with Lauren and Kyle come along to the show, it is lovely to think that our girls come along to the show, even after all of these years, there is still lots for them to see. Now we have the next generation with Kyle, this is his second Southampton Boat Show. 

 Looks like Kyle was having some fun at the show

Some interesting enquiries, sun shining but a quiet afternoon of visitors through the gate.

Monday 14th

Simon was back from Goodwood, and was straight down to the show, this was a welcome break for me, as I had plenty of office work to do.

Tuesday 15th

It is great how Simon and I can share the workload of the show, after being at London for five days earlier this year, it certainly gave me the confidence to get out there and talk to the people who are 
interested in these lovely boats, I have even been told that I have really come out of myself since taking up sailing, nice compliments, but I am still me at the end of the day, happy and smiling and have time to listen to all the stories. Hannah along with Joe and Alisdair visited me today.
Todays visitors were Niall and Nigel Wardrop from Scotland and members of the DA
Niall, Me and Nigel

Tonight we went out with some other exhibitors, Alex, Birgitta, Ronan, Ian, Simon, Sandy along with Hannah, Lauren, Kyle and Simon, we had a lovely meal at an Indian restaurant, socialising is so much fun, with lots of laughs.

Wednesday 16th

Sadly, not the best of days to be at a boat show, the rain kept lots of people away from the show.

Thursday 17th 

Weather has improved, but attendance is still down. Martin joined Simon today on the stand.

At the yard, we have been busy with refurbishment work on a Lugger which we collected from and will be delivering back to Scotland when completed.

In the evening the girls joined us, along with Nick, Fleur, Ross and Lyndsey for a meal out, we have made some great friends during our time at the boat shows over the years, and it is always lovely to be able to spend an evening with them.

Friday 18th

Hard to believe that we are one week into the show. I joined Simon on the stand today and there were a fair few people coming through the gates.

We spent some time talking to one of our customers, James Landale, James is Deputy Political Editor for the BBC, and was telling us of the enjoyment his family have with their Lugger.
James Landale

Rum and Ginger Beer time !!
Saturday 19th

Ahh, today I am looking after Kyle while Mummy works, so it is down to the boat show.

For a 13 month old little boy, he is certainly easy to entertain, and always smiling.
Someone is being cheeky today

Kyle has packed his bag and is going around doing quality control on the boats, to find which one he likes the most.

3 men on the naughty step today

I took him down to the pontoon as I was interested in the new Shrimper 21 ( after Dick come back 
drooling over the brochure last week) we saw Peter and after asking him to hold Kyle, we got on the boat to have a good look around, and was pleasantly surprised. It certainly has been thought about, especially with supplying what the customer wants. Time to go back to the drawing board, maybe it is about time there was a new Drascombe.

The afternoon was busy, with some very good enquiries.

Sunday 20th

The last day, and some are feeling a little uhh, too much drink Alex :-)

All of the excitement of the past 10 days must have caught up with me, as I fell asleep in the chair, hoping I wasn't seen, but too late, a few photos were taken, oh dear, this could be fun!

With a good amount of accessories sold, a brokerage boat sold, several boats booked in for winter work, or refurbishment, we can safely say we had a good show. Now to the office on Monday to type up quotes, and obtain a few shipping prices.


With the boat all packed up, and the stand dismantled, it is all over for another year.

Thanks to all the customers, new, old and potential for coming and talking to us, I walked into the show with a smile every day, and left each evening the same. A smile and a friendly "hello" do not cost anything.

Here's to London in January 2016

Sharon xx

This was left outside our stand on Sunday morning. Just because I was not at the show for 9am, it didn't mean that I was not working from 7am answering emails. I do love the Scottish humour.


Sunday, 6 September 2015

A few days sailing - The Isle of Wight

A couple of weeks ago, my sailing teacher mentioned that he was planning on a day sailing over the August bank holiday, so I took it upon myself to invite myself along, this actually turned out to be Friday to Sunday break.

Checking first with Simon that he was happy for me to go, I spoke to Dick to find out where we would be sailing, "the Isle of Wight" was the reply. OK! So this could be fun. With plans made, I booked my two bed and breakfasts, first in Yarmouth and then in East Cowes.

Friday, with a mid morning tide, I arrived just in time to see Daislebee being launched, well, I have to say, I did close my eyes for a while, I am sure the Drascombe boats are easier to launch than a Shrimper!

Bags on board, we motor out of Ashlett Creak in the direction of the rain, nothing to bad, but time to dust of the sailing jacket.  Soon the sails were up, and we were sailing in the rain. As long as I am warm, the rain is no problem to me, what was the worrying was when we started to heel, my word, that was interesting, feet bracing on the cockpit seat, and my hands gripping the gunwhale, if there is one way to test my fear of water, then this has to be it.

OK, I know I said I wanted to learn to sail, but really did we have to go out in the rain, heel the boat and then manage 7.2 knots, all in the space of an hour?

We took a lunch break at Newtown Creak, a place I have heard off often as a stopping place on their cruises. Anchoring up, the sun was shining finally, and we sat and enjoyed our lunch along with enjoying the views.
Some loving sailing going on
After lunch we headed to Yarmouth, the first of our stops, while coming into the harbour, I was a tad worried about the big ferries, thinking they would get us, but actually they are further away than you think. We were met by the harbour boat, and shown to our mooring, not bad Mr P, we couldn't get any closer to the HM office if we tried.
Just love this sign, they even have "Harwoods" on the IOW

Off for an ice-cream and walk along the pier, we soon found ourselves in a pub enjoying a cold cider or two. Looking at the weather, it was hard to believe that we had sailed in the rain earlier in the day.
After a lovely evening meal in a local pub, I set of for my b&b, leaving Dick in the pub!
Daislebee in Yarmouth
The next morning, I walked down to the harbour to meet Dick, and after looking at the tides, we set off in the direction of Lymington. Sadly there was no wind, so a gentle motor along, looking at all of the other boats who were out, as well as missing the ferries which travel between Lymington and Yarmouth.

At one point, Dick put out the mackerel line and caught one, this was a first for me. Going into the harbour at Lymington there are certainly some lovely boats there. I was looking out for Drascombes, while Dick was spotting Shrimpers, no guessing for who one that one!
Catching mackerel
We motored back over to just outside Newtown Creek this time, and had baked camembert and crusty read for lunch, I could get used to all this eating Al Fresco. As we finished lunch, it started to drizzle, after having a lovely morning and lunch, we see the rain settling in for the day. This is where I took shelter in the cabin, well actually I fell asleep on the bunk listening to the thud of the motor.
Arriving at East Cowes, Dick radios ahead to check on availability for a mooring, having been asked what depth do you draw, we could hear the young lady laugh, when Dick said "14 inches" There are some benefits to sailing boats.
Heading to the HM office to pay our dues, we then head to The Lifeboat for a drink or two, we then headed back to Daislebee and had supper on board the boat.
Off to my second B&B of the weekend, some things I am grateful for, as I am not sure I would have enjoyed sleeping on a boat while it was raining.
I woke to a lovely sunny morning, oh why couldn't it have been like this yesterday afternoon, oh well at least we should get some sailing today.
We head out East Cowes towards Ashlett SC, soon the sails are up, but it is a slow sail. At one point we get the compass out and the sailing chart out, to see where we are on the chart. This is another part of sailing which is all new to me, and something else I have to learn.
Coming into Ashlett, the power boats were out motoring across the solent, as the first one went past us, my knuckles were white from gripping the tiller, and I asked Dick to take it as I didn't like it, only to be told "no", you have to learn (he can be so mean at times). When the next powerboat come along, we went into the wash, I felt a bit more comfortable with that.
Back at Ashlett Sailing Club, the tide was quite high, so wet feet were in order.
High Tide at Ashlett Sailing Club

Once Daislebee was on her trailer, we washed her down, hosed out the brakes on the trailer, and packed her away for the time being.
So, what did I learn
Make sure you take suitable clothing and be prepared for a quick change in the weather
Luckily the harbours and my B&B were booked in advance
If going away over a busy period, book a restaurant - although the takeaway on the boat was different
New to me
Going over 7 knots
Using the compass, and looking at the chart to work out where we are
Catching mackerel - Although not keen when it jumped out of Dicks hand
Pulling the jib out
Next time
Being allowed to put the main sail up
Tacking, until I understand what I am doing
Thank you Dick for a lovely and adventurous few days, some "me" time was definitely in order.
Not sure when I will be sailing next, as we have Southampton Boat Show coming up, but hopefully I can pursued Dick before the end of the season to go back out for one last sail.

Come back soon xx

Saturday, 22 August 2015

No sailing, but lots of family celebrations

You will realise that my blog is not just about my sailing, behind the scenes is Simon (my husband) along with Lauren and Hannah our daughters, and Kyle the adorable grandson (Lauren's son).

It probably is a good thing that I have not been sailing, as there have been many events going on where I have had to be at home.

After a busy end of July with our wedding anniversary (21 years) and my birthday, on July 31st we celebrated Hannah's 18th birthday, with a weekend of family and friends.
Hannah's 18th Birthday

Following on from Hannah's birthday, we celebrated our Grandsons 1st Birthday, we cannot believe that a year has passed since Kyle was born. He has brought so much joy and happiness to us all, but most of all he enjoys being on the water, next year we will have him out a few more times.
Kyle's 1st Birthday

Next, Hannah passed her driving test, so no stopping her now once her car is checked over.
That week ended with Kyle being baptised in our local Chapel, and having a family birthday party, no tears when the minister poured water over him, see, I said he enjoyed the water!

Proud Mum (Lauren) and Kyle

The last week of all of our celebrations started with Hannah getting her A Level results, we are so proud of Hannah as she has been offered a place at Winchester University, and the course she will be attending is a BA Hons in Business Management, well done Han we are all so proud of you, here's to the third generation to run Churchouse Boats Ltd.
Finally, the last of events was Laurens 20th birthday, sadly the weather was not great which stopped us from going out, but next year nothing will stop the celebrations for her 21st.
Laurens 20th birthday
Phew!, a few busy weeks for us all, all these celebrations and I still continue to go to work, reply to emails, update the website as and when, collect trailers, the list is endless. But all I really want to do is go sailing, I love my family to bits, but I need some "me" time, reading bits on Facebook of other peoples adventures and day trips, do make me envious.
We did make it down to the Ashlett Regatta to see all of the boats beautifully decorated, before they set sail on the Poole Rally.
So, if my sailing buddy reads this, hint hint!! can I take your boat out sailing please.
That is all for now, continue to enjoy the good weather, and I shall update my blog when I go sailing next xx